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What are your musical goals?

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I have recently had an interesting mind experiment with myself.  I have sometimes thought of maybe going back to school for a master's in music and I've heard some great advice on discord stating that one should seek out a good composer/composition teacher that one would want to study with and go to that school where you'd be able to study with them.  So I imagine to myself that I have already done that and I'm sitting with my teacher in their office, listening to some of my music, and they ask me "So what are your musical goals in regards to musical composition?  What do you really want to achieve here?"  That question is what inspired the following list (in no particular order):

  • Write mimesis music - mimicry of various natural/unnatural sounds through reinforcement of harmonics in the orchestra
  • Feature aural illusions in my music
  • Continue writing variations pieces on various beloved pre-existing themes or newly composed themes
  • Write a programmatic symphony
  • Write an original piano sonata in a unique style without resorting to cliche pianism
  • Continue finishing old pieces that I started over a decade ago to stay connected to my past
  • Learn galant schema and use them to write original pieces of music
  • Continue writing old Baroque dances in a new style and include different dances besides the minuet in my symphony
  • Write occasional pieces of music utilizing dice and/or chance/aleatoric techniques/elements

But ultimately - just follow my heart and write passion projects rather than cerebral exercises.

Those are the goals I came up with.  Share what you think of them or what your own personal goals are and how they might be different from mine!  Thanks for reading.


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I have a lot of goal about composition:

-learn "styles" of writing Aka baroque galant Debussy atonal pendiatonism and contemporary.

-being able to write a major work(a symphonie, requiem or a free form long pièce)

-maybe trying to expand some research about music effect in medecine or extrapolate about a new way to think music.

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I haven’t pondered on ‘goals’ too much as I’ve ben involved with music in some way as far back as I can remember. It was a assumed I’d be a composer, an amateur, rather than performer, administrator, impresario or technician. No one ever asked me.

If there are goals:

1 Yes - portray aural illusion but of a kind that ignites visuals in listeners’ imaginations. (synaesthesia, I suppose).

2 Musically capture moods and impressions without being programmatic.

3 Write the sound tracks to dreams.

4 Write music for modern dance.

5 Keep in touch with standard (if modern) forms and tonality.

6 Experiment, including electronics and dice.

7. But above all, to borrow PeterthePapercomPoser’s words: ultimately to write from the heart. A goal? Yes, because it means clearing the pitch of debris on the way.

Whether I’ll ever achieve 1-4 is debatable but it’s worth a try. I simply can’t put music down in spite of so many other things needing to be done!

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On 3/17/2024 at 7:42 PM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:


But ultimately - just follow my heart and write passion projects rather than cerebral exercises.



100 % that

I feel like i have a bunch more early keyboard stuff on the docket, whether it’s composing or playing.   Late renaissance, besides just being a foundation for me is also a language I feel I can use to express my inner self and not merely a relic of the past, so i think it would be a shame if i didn’t do more of that.

But eventually i would also like to get involved in something more popular and maybe more symphonic in scope, like film or video game music or something, but in a way that’s not too commercial and in which i can still be myself.  Perhaps there will be someone with some interesting or eclectic project, as i think that is what id work the best with.  that might be naive and optimistic but w/e

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For me,

- To learn styles from diverse or even all sources - exposure to as many as possible, but to ofc focus on what truly resonates with you - and develop your very individualized styles .

I learn a lot of and from western classical forms ( largely from Baroque to Modern ) and genres but also beyond that especially in terms of geography. But at the end of the day it is to incorporate the elements and understanding to composing what you want and not merely for the sake of fulfilling some numbers ( unless it becomes something official ), yet what you compose should be both personalized for yourself but also universal for others ( as many as possible ) to appreciate, enjoy and keep and ring with them and enrich their lives too.

As much as I root myself in baroque and classical traditions, and be open and experimental when I really do, I still love Late Romantic music the most. As per my limitations and inclinations, I am only largely able and willing to compose for piano. And as I compose and publish, I realize most of my pieces are kind of programmatic - it has to be about something, whatever it is interpreted as. 

All that said, I have to agree that it is just this:

On 3/18/2024 at 7:42 AM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

But ultimately - just follow my heart and write passion projects rather than cerebral exercises.

Thank You

Ke Shen

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